On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review a Ninth Circuit decision that blocked the right of out-of-state defendants to remove lawsuits from state court to federal court when the suit involves numerous plaintiffs. The decision was a setback for WLF, which urged the Court to grant review. WLF argued that the appeals court’s decision remanding a massive products-liability suit back to state court was inconsistent with the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a 2005 federal law designed to permit removal of virtually all large class actions into federal court. The appeals court held that the suit did not qualify as a “mass action” and thus was not subject to CAFA, but WLF argued that Congress intended CAFA to apply whenever, as here, the suit combines the claims of 100 or more plaintiffs. WLF argued that CAFA was designed to prevent the sorts of gamesmanship employed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys in this case in their effort to defeat federal jurisdiction.
Cert-Stage Supreme Court brief